Ageing skin is a nightmare for anyone who gives importance to their complexion. However, as skincare has grown in popularity- not only in Asia but worldwide-, the fear of going through the skin’s ageing process has subsided a bit. There are various products out there that you can add to your regimen. Also, several online sources, whether it’s articles or videos, suggest different ways to approach your anti-ageing skincare routine.
At the same time, the number of available skincare products and tutorials makes it confusing to choose which one will work the best for you. It is important to remember that there is no “correct” way in an anti-ageing skincare routine. Every person has different needs for their skin at different age and skin conditions. For instance, a person with dry skin would need a different regimen from someone who has oily skin. It also speaks to the type of product that will give you the results you want. One should tailor the skincare products they use depending on the type of skin that they have and the age that they are at.
With that said, regardless of the difference in considerations for each person, a thing that every routine should think about is the order you apply the products. Every product has its purpose to achieve anti-ageing. That is why you need to give enough time for the skin to absorb each application. Otherwise, it may not be as effective or even give the opposite result from what you are expecting.
It is safe to say that skincare is a 24-hour operation. We need to prepare our skin with protection for the activities during the day, while pampering it to let it rest at night. For this reason, you need to, again, adapt your skincare routine depending on whether you do it during the day or night. It then involves different products or approaches in the application.
To win the battle against skin ageing, you need to start taking care of your complexion as soon as possible. To get you started, here’s everything you need to know about morning and evening anti-ageing skincare routines.
Why Are Morning and Evening Skincare Routines Different?
One may ask what difference having a separate morning and evening skincare routine makes. Is it necessary to treat your skin twice in one day?
The simple answer is yes; it is necessary to treat your skin twice a day, using different routines day and night. As implied earlier, the skin has separate needs during the day and night. Getting your skin ready for the day is completely different from preparing it to go to bed.
During the day, your skin is subjected to a high level of stress. It is exposed to elements such as dirt, oil production, makeup, UV rays, pollutants, and bacteria. All of these damage your skin cells and the skin’s collagen. That’s why your morning routine is all about prepping your skin to make it through the day, protecting it against the harmful external factors that can affect it.
On the other hand, a part of your night routine is about cleaning the surface of the skin from all the dirt and pollution that might have accumulated during the day. Again, the skin does not stop working to keep its youthful complexion. The skin repairs and recuperates itself during the night, recovering from any potential damage that may occur throughout the day, which gives another reason for our anti-ageing skincare routine to be done at night as well.
Having a good day and night skin regimen eventually becomes crucial in preventing premature skin ageing, especially in the early 20s. It should not come as a surprise that as you grow older, your skin ages with you. The relationship between your age and your skin condition plays out in various ways.
First, as you live longer, you are more exposed to more elements every day. If you do not have a solid skincare routine, the incremental damage caused by these pollutants accumulates, which then causes your skin to show signs of ageing.
Second, our skin, specifically in the face, is highly linked to the muscles we use for expressions. Habitual expressions may lead some muscles to adapt to tension, while letting others relax into sagging. In other words, making contorting facial expressions a habit leads the skin to wear and tear over time. Moreover, lifestyle habits such as skincare, diet, sleeping patterns, hydration, cigarette smoking, and alcohol consumption greatly affect your skin’s condition.
Finally, skin ageing is somewhat inevitable. Our skin simply can’t stay fresh and youthful-looking throughout our life. The regenerating ability of our skin gets slower as we age. Our skin does not recover from damage as fast or as effectively as it would have when we are younger. Also, the production of new collagen slows down, making it harder to have your complexion stay evenly hydrated. As a result, signs such as dull skin, fine lines, wrinkles, dehydrated lacklustre skin, and pigmentation become more apparent.
What Should I Do for My Morning Skincare Routine?
Now that we have established the importance of a separate day and night anti-ageing skincare routine, what exactly do you need to do for each regimen? Again, the goal of your skin regimen during the day is to give your skin protection from harmful external factors. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the order in which you do your routine is vital in whether your regimen will do its intended job.
For your morning routine, the basic steps to take include:
Cleansers are used to remove the grime and residue that may have built up in the skin. Many people might think that cleansing is only important during the night, as it is the time when dirt accumulates more often as we go outside. Yes, cleansing is vital during the night, but it is as important to do it in the morning. The skin sheds all the time, making cleansing crucial during the morning to clear away cellular debris. Furthermore, cleansing helps remove excess oil, impurities, and cosmetic residue that may not have been fully cleared from the night before.
Cleansers usually come in two forms, either water-based or oil-based. Water-based cleansers are used to remove water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt. It comes in either foaming or non-foaming variants. On the other hand, oil-based cleansers remove oil-based impurities including sebum, sunscreen, and makeup.
As both cleansers serve different purposes, double cleansing is usually recommended. It includes using an oil-based cleanser, then followed by a water-based cleanser. Excess sebum acts as a glue that traps other pollutants, and the accumulation leads to congested pores. An oil-based cleanser helps to draw out those impurities. At the same time, sweat and dirt can also cling not only on the surface of the skin but also deep in the pores. Water-based cast out these elements.
Every skin type can tremendously benefit from double cleansing- or cleansing in general- especially oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin types. Oily skin types benefit from using oil-based cleansers, as it removes excess sebum without causing your skin to dry out. With that said, it is important to be cautious about which cleanser you add to your routine. Not all cleansers are created the same. Read the label and stay away from ingredients you are allergic to. Also, avoid heavy artificial fragrances, comedogenic, mineral oils, parabens, PEG as it tends to be irritating on the skin and cause blockage.
Once you find the right cleansers, make it the first step in your anti-ageing skincare routine in the morning. Apply a small amount to your skin and gently massage it throughout the surface. Most people spend only about 20 seconds on cleansing, and that would not be enough for proper results. The step should take at least two minutes of circular motion to be effective. After doing so, rinse thoroughly with water and dry it with a clean towel.
Toners are designed to replenish the skin through hydration and remove dead cells and dirt left behind by cleansers. Many toners available out there are astringent, meaning it’s an alcohol-based product. Astringents are effective in combating excess oil.
However, toner with alcohol can cause drying, especially for those who already have dry or sensitive skin. So, alcohol-free toners are the way to go. It is milder on your skin than an astringent, though it still gives the desired result. Toners cleanse dead skin cells that can accumulate overnight and add antioxidants to keep the skin healthy. They can be used every day to finish the cleansing part of your routine.
Use the toner straight after cleansing. You can either apply it directly onto the skin and tap it using your clean fingers, or you can use a cotton pad and swipe it over the face in an outward motion.
If you have dabbled in skincare in recent years, you might have heard of the term “free radicals”. Free radicals are unstable molecules responsible for breaking down the skin’s collagen. Every day our skin goes through a process of oxidation where harmful free radicals are released. The process results in unflattering signs of ageing like wrinkling, dark spots, inflammation, fine lines, and loose, saggy skin. Free radicals can be found through external environmental factors like UV rays, pollution, and smoke. That’s why it is vital to combat that in your anti-ageing skincare routine, especially in the morning.
A way to do so is by incorporating an antioxidant serum into your regimen. Serums contain a high concentration of particular ingredients. The antioxidant-based serums protect the skin from damages by neutralizing the free radicals. Formulations with antioxidants like Vitamins C and E help reduce the formation of lines and wrinkles and improve the texture and firmness of the skin. It can also assist in brightening your complexion. Other combinations of antioxidants like Vitamin A, C, and E, with ferulic acid, niacinamide, resveratrol and coenzyme q10 can also be powerful ways to combat free radicals.
To add it to your routine, pat a few drops of the serum onto your face and neck.
Moisturizers help soothe and soften the skin. When the skin maintains a proper balance of moisture and hydration, it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Although, various skin types usually have different needs when it comes to moisturizers. Dry skin types should opt for a cream or balm. Thicker creams work best on normal or combination skin. On the other hand, oilier skin types may skip using moisturizers if their toner or serum gives enough moisture to their skin. If not, they may opt for fluid and gel variants. Regardless, moisturizing is a step you shouldn’t skip as much as possible for an effective anti-ageing skincare routine.
During your regimen, take a slightly bigger than a pea-sized amount of the moisturizer and warm it on your hands. First apply it to the cheeks, then to the rest of the face using upward strokes.
Effective ingredients for moisturizers include glycerine, ceramides, antioxidants, and peptides. There are also available moisturizer formulas that come with SPF to avoid sun damage.
The final, and very crucial step, of your morning routine is applying sunscreen. Too much exposure to sunlight can cause wrinkle formation, premature skin ageing, and, at worst, skin cancer. It is because of the number of UV rays that the skin is exposed to. Two types of UV rays usually cause skin damage: UVA and UVB.
UVA rays penetrate the middle layer of your skin. It leads to premature ageing skin, including wrinkle formation, skin texture changes, and uneven pigmentation. On the other hand, UVB rays mostly affect the outer layer of your skin. Exposure to too many UVB rays causes sunburn.
To give your skin protection when going outside, make sure to purchase a sunscreen that is ‘broad-spectrum’. It is a type of sunscreen designed to block both UVA and UVB light better than the typical SPF variants, which only protects the skin from sunburn.
When purchasing, check the SPF level of the sunscreen, designed to block both UVA and UVB light better than the typical SPF variants that only protects the skin from sunburn. A higher SPF gives stronger protection. For example, an SPF below 15 gives low-level protection, while SPF 15 to 29 has medium protection (filtering about 93% of UVB rays). A minimum of SPF 30 to 50 is recommended for high protection against the sun (filtering 97% to 98% of UVB rays). An SPF of over 50 gives the highest level of protection (filtering up to 99% of UVB rays).
To apply sunscreen, spread a liberal amount over your face and massage it. Make sure to apply it around 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Furthermore, do not apply any skincare products on top of it as it can dilute the sunscreen. However, sunscreen can be the final layer before putting on makeup.
What Should I Do for My Evening Skincare Routine?
We have established how an evening skincare routine is as important as a morning regimen. It can be as tedious as the earlier routine, but it serves a vital purpose in preventing skin ageing. Your focus is on neutralizing antioxidants and regenerating and renewing the skin tissue. In other words, it’s all about restoring and repairing the skin’s condition, replenishing itself from its exposure to pollution and UV radiation during the day. Your night regimen may take similar steps as with your morning routine, but with a completely different purpose.
For your night routine, the basic steps to take include:
After a long day of oil accumulation, makeup wear, and exposure to harmful external factors, your skin has gone through a lot, making washing your face an integral part of your night routine. That’s why cleansing is as, if not more, important during the night than in the day.
To get a deep clean, double cleansing is still recommended targeting different types of epidermal debris, allowing your skin to breathe. Oil-based cleansers are effective in breaking down the oily ingredients found in makeup and SPF. It also removes dirt and dissolves the excess natural oils produced by your skin. If you don’t wear makeup or have oily skin, you may opt to skip oil-based cleansers and use water-based products instead. Use a water-based cleanser to get rid of the sweat and bacteria from the surface of the skin. It also reacts with makeup and dirt that allows this debris to be rinsed away with water.
During application, follow the specific product instructions. Some makeup removers are either applied on wet or dry skin. Massage the product on the skin gently and then rinse it with water. Do the same with the water-based cleanser. You can use the same formula as your morning routine, or opt for a new one specifically suited to your skin type. For a few times per week, you can swap in an exfoliating cleanser to remove dead skin cells that have built up on the surface of the skin. It is very important to remove your makeup properly
It is crucial to exfoliate your skin during the nighttime, especially as you grow older. When we are younger, our skin takes four to six weeks for cell renewal, while it becomes six to ten weeks as we age. As a result, your skin starts to look dull because the dead cells are not eliminated. So, exfoliation is important to assist the skin with the process.
A way of doing so is using acid toners. Take note that you need to find a combination of acids that can work on your skin type. For instance, glycolic acid is advisable for anti-ageing, sun damage and pigmentation. Salicylic acid, on the other hand, can be used several times a week for acne and blackheads. It helps clear the pores and remove excess oil, eliminating the possibility of build up. Other acids like lactic acid and polyhydroxy acid are good for anti-ageing and sensitive skin, respectively.
Furthermore, you can assert further hydration to your skin through toners. Ingredients such as lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and glycerine can give the skin a moisture boost.
Using toners mark the end of the cleansing part of your night routine. Much like during the day, you can apply the toner using a cotton pad and swipe it over the skin.
Again, your skin is busy working to repair the condition of your skin even at night. So, it is important to feed your skin with proper nourishment. The way to do so is using serums.
Antioxidant serums should also be applied during the nighttime to neutralize all the free radicals from exposure to the sun, pollution, and stress during the day. Serums are effective way of nourishing because it delivers powerful ingredients directly to the skin. Vitamin E is recommended for dry skin, while antioxidants like green tea extract can be used on dull complexions.
Retinol is specifically used for nighttime routines. It is considered the gold standard when it comes to anti-ageing. Retinol is known to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots from both environmental and natural ageing. However, it can only be used during the night as it’s photosensitive, meaning it breaks down in UV light.
If you haven’t tried retinol before, carry out a patch test for 24 hours to see if your skin can tolerate it or not. You can also start with lower concentrations of it two to three times a week. Then you can gradually increase the percentage of use depending on your skin’s condition.
The final step in your nighttime skincare regimen is moisturizing, again. It is important to put hydration back during the night. Instead of using a moisturizer with SPF, apply a night cream formulated with anti-ageing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, lipo-hydroxy-acid, and/or retinol.
Ceramides are also advised for moisturizers. Ceramides are fatty acids maintaining the skin barrier, retaining moisture, and keeping the skin hydrated. It is essential as it holds the skin barrier together, making up 50% of the uppermost layer of the skin.
Apply it similarly to your morning moisturizer, by dabbing small amounts on your skin.
Those are some tips that you can follow to have an effective anti-ageing skincare routine 24/7. It may sound like a lot of time and effort, but promise that it will be worth it. Remember, prevention is better than cure, which also speaks true to our skin. Although, skincare may take time before it yields obvious results. There are also alternate solutions like injectable skincare that you can do alongside your existing regimen for more immediate results. Regardless, it is never too early or late to start investing in your skin’s condition.